Dambusters: RAF's Most Daring Raid

Operation Chastise, also known as the Dambusters raid, was an attack on German dams in the Ruhr Valley in May 1943, led by the Royal Air Force's specialist 617 Squadron.

Under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the British fleet - accompanied by Canadian and Australian pilots - attacked and destroyed two key dams, causing catastrophic flooding and killing 1,600 behind enemy lines.

The raid was notorious for using specially developed 'bouncing bombs', invented by aircraft designer Barnes Wallis, which were designed to be dropped from a low altitude and skid along the surface of the water into the dams.

Operation Chastise was devised earlier in the war as a plan to cripple Germany's highly industrial Ruhr Valley, where dams provided hydro-electric power as well as water for commercial and domestic use.

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